Change it Up, Little by Little

This phrase recently caught my attention: Little by little, a little becomes a lot. I even wrote it on a sticky note and put it on my refrigerator. It reminds me that small things count. They add up.

Meditating for just one minute; adding a baby spinach salad to a meal; walking around the block; cleaning one kitchen counter. Doing small things may not seem important at the moment, but over time they mean a lot. A healthier diet, more exercise, a cleaner house.

You probably have clients or patients who are all-or-nothing thinkers – they really need to hear this message! Especially now, when the pandemic disrupts our routines, and sometimes even the tiniest change feels overwhelming.

Our Change It Up theme goes well with this concept. Little by little, diet and exercise changes will add up to transform your life. It’s how you go from being the worn out fast-food caterpillar to the vibrant, beautiful butterfly.

Use the Change It Up concept to teach your clients, patients, or students that …

  • The transformation isn’t instant, but the good feeling you get from one small change takes you one baby step closer.
    • Get the good feeling by celebrating (yay, me!) when you make the choice to have an apple instead of chips.
  • Change can be overwhelming, so start small by concentrating on doing something different for just one meal.
    • Once a healthy breakfast becomes a daily habit, move on to lunch, dinner, or snacks.
  • You can’t go from the couch to a 5K overnight.
    • Going to the end of your driveway counts. Remember, small is good!
  • Nobody is perfect. You’ll mess up and that’s okay.
    • It’s easier to get back on track one small change at a time.

Hollis Bass, MEd, RD, LD

Introducing the Healthy Bucket List

It’s February … time to ask your clients how those new year’s resolutions are going. If they’re like most of us, it’s probably not good. This is the perfect time to introduce them to the Healthy Bucket List!

People love bucket lists. Our new Healthy Bucket List poster introduces 12 small goals that can add up to big changes over time. Things like learning to read a food label, making a salad, drinking water, and eating a healthy breakfast.

Our Healthy Bucket List goals align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate, so you know they’re based on sound nutrition advice for a healthy lifestyle.

Here are six simple ways to use the Healthy Bucket List in classes, individual counseling sessions, health fairs, and more:

  1. #HealthyBucketList Challenge: Start a social media challenge by asking friends and followers to complete one of our Healthy Bucket List goals every week or month and post updates about their progress using #HealthyBucketList or another tag you come up with.
  2. Family Bucket List & Chat: Get the family together and come up with a family healthy bucket list. Set up a family group chat to remind each other of your goals and to share pictures when you accomplish a bucket list item. You could also do this with co-workers or groups of two or more friends.
  3. Take-Home Bucket List: For young children, talk to them about healthy foods. Then give each student a paper with a drawing of a bucket (see below for ‘how to draw a bucket’ links, or use clipart). Have the kids draw pictures of the healthy foods they want to eat at home. Now they have a cute bucket list to take home to show their family.
  4. Bucket List Display: Use the Healthy Bucket List poster at a health fair. Ask people to look over the list and tell you which goals they’ve already achieved (maybe give out a sticker for each one). Then have them choose a goal or two to work on, and talk about how they can get started.
  5. DIY Healthy Bucket List: Hold a class to help people make their own Healthy Bucket List. You could do a traditional class or get social and do it via Facebook Live. (Never done Facebook Live? Put it on YOUR bucket list!)
  6. Healthy Bucket List Series: Hold a series of classes focusing on our Healthy Bucket List goals. Or integrate the bucket list concept into classes and counseling that you’re already doing.

For instructions on how to draw a simple bucket, click here or here.